Dante Jr. not only can pitch, but he has some pop. His 3 run opposite field home run put the game away last night. He took advantage of an obviously tiring Iowa pitcher and drove the ball out to right centerfield.
I think it's irresponsible that the Iowa manager left his pitcher in so long last night. The youngster pitched a great game, but he was obviously fatigued in the final inning or two. The last pitch count I heard was 132 pitches and he still had one more out to finish the game. They seldom let any major league pitch throw nearly that number of pitches in a game. I don't think it's good for kids to do so, particularly when the team will likely have him playing shortstop or catcher the next day.
I think Little League is a wonderful organization and I still cherish my time playing as a youngster, but I think they should reexamine their rules regarding appearances by pitchers. Currently a pitcher may pitch 6 innings in a week. If a pitcher throws a single pitch in an inning it counts as one of his innings, which makes coaches reluctant to relieve pitchers once they start an inning. I think there should be some provision limiting the pitch counts somehow. To have a youngster throw well in excess of 100 pitches, as the Iowa pitcher did last night, is not in the best interest of the youngsters longterm health, in my opinion.